Sidhu face of Hockey India League
STAR Sports, Asia's leading sports broadcaster, shared slew of production and marketing led measures to make inaugural edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) commencing from Monday, a resounding success.
The sports broadcaster also unveiled former India cricketer and Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu as the brand ambassador of the league.
The inaugural edition of the league will be broadcast with Hindi commentary on STAR Sports while STAR Cricket will broadcast select matches of the league in English.
Live streaming of all the matches would be available on www.youtube.com/thehockeyindialeague.
The broadcaster unveiled a panel of hockey experts and presenters who will do commentary on live telecast as well as pre and post match analysis through the league.
The Hindi commentary panel includes eminent former Indian Hockey players like Mir Ranjan Negi, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh.
The English commentary panel comprises of Viren Rasquinha, Cedric D'Souza, AB Subbaiah and Sandeep Somesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Narendra Batra, Chairman, Hero Hockey India League, said, "All the preparations are in place for a world class hockey tournament. Along with all the franchisees, we are confident of delivering a product that India will be proud of."
Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, said, "We are very bullish about the future of hockey and the Hero Hockey India League. We believe that Hockey as a game has the pull as well as the potential to become a prominent no. 2 sport in the country after Cricket.
"The game has huge following across pockets in the country. This league has all the ingredients like franchisee led teams, home and away matches and the world's very best players in action to make it a success. This kind of a league has never happened in the history of Hockey before."
Sidhu said, "Hockey is our mother sport. Overall, HHIL offers a brilliant marketing package to popularize the game. I believe this league will act as a catalyst to galvanize the growth of hockey in the country and revive interest amongst the youth."
"Right now a few Indian players go abroad and participate in multiple leagues across the world. With the advent of HHIL, India will now have a world class event right at its doorstep.
"The best players from across the globe will be seen in action here. This will provide young Indian players the opportunity to rub shoulders with world class players and coaches and hone their skills further. I am looking forward to this exciting event and will definitely attend as many matches as I can," he said.
The 'Hero Hockey India League' is a truly global league with players from as many as 11 countries strutting their stuff.
The tournament will see participation from as many as 53 Olympians.
The first edition will see participation from 5 teams namely Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos.
A total of 34 matches will be played across 24 match days on home and away basis across five franchisee cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Ranchi. Hero Hockey India League starts on January 14th while it ends on Feb 10. --IBNS